Michelle Cretella

Hate Group Leader Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians has a religious objection to any form of gender affirmation.

via YouTube

American College of Pediatricians, a small Florida hate group, has sent a letter to Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams. The objective of the letter is to have Dr. Adams issue a Surgeon General’s Alert relating to the treatment of adolescent gender dysphoria. The letter is full of the usual misleading and inaccurate BS which I have written about countless times.

Addressing this letter in its entirety would only cause me to recycle the text from prior posts about trans youth. I am more interested in who signed the letter. (In addition to the usual crazies, it identifies some new faces.) Therefore, I will limit my focus to the opening paragraph of the letter.

The first three sentences read:

We are leaders of medical and mental health organizations dedicated to providing evidence based healthcare in
keeping with the ancient medical ethics principle of first do no harm. We write to inform you of a grave public
health concern impacting children and adolescents diagnosed with gender dysphoria (GD). It is an issue so dire
that the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom issued an unprecedented warning to the
public earlier this month.

“Leaders?” “[M]edical and mental health organizations?” The notion that American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a medical organization is comparable to claims that a leaky 25 foot fishing trawler is part of the U.S. Merchant Marine. ACPeds is a religious organization; specifically, a conservative Christian organization.

As for that part about the Royal College of General Practitioners, they did not issue a warning while calling for more research. The official policy of RCGP is that GPs do not have the experience to treat gender dysphoria and that they should refer patients to gender specialists.

ACPeds exists because, in 2002, the real professional organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated in its newsletter that pediatricians should support adoption of children by gays and lesbians. About 60 conservative Christian doctors (0.1% of the AAP’s then 60,000 members) were appalled and they formed what is now a hate group. They have been lying about LGBTQ people for for nearly two decades and have an estimated membership of less than 200.

With respect to juvenile gender dysphoria the efforts of ACPeds (including the letter in question are entirely dishonest. The premise that they are acting in the best interests of children is a blatant lie. Their concern lies in Genesis 1:27 —

[KJV] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

That’s it. The above is what all this fuss is about.

Now let us consider the signatories:

Michelle Cretella. Cretella is the executive director of ACPeds. She has not practiced medicine in some time and is not currently a licensed physician. There is no evidence that Cretella has ever treated any child with gender dysphoria. Moreover, because she is unlicensed she is relieved of continuing education requirements. Michelle Cretella seems to exist solely to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. When dogma and science are in conflict Cretella will attempt to torture the science into conformity with the faith-based religious dogma. That is a futile exercise.

Quentin Van Meter. Van Meter is president of ACPeds. Van Meter, a board certified endocrinologist in Atlanta, specializes in the treatment of juvenile diabetes. He is not a psychiatrist. No psychiatrist would ever refer a gender dysphoric patient to Van Meter for hormone therapy because Van Meter will not treat them. Van Meter has no applicable training or experience.

Mark Chuff. Mark Joseph Chuff, the letter says, is a behavioral health consultant to ACPeds. Chuff, of Duncansville, PA, is a licensed professional counselor who practices in Altoona. An LPC is unlikely to have any experience counseling children with gender dysphoria who first need to see a qualified psychiatrist for proper evaluation in accordance with DSM-5. I have no idea where they found this guy or why he wants to be publicly associated with an anti-LGBT hate group. I am unable to determine what Chuff’s educational background is.

Jane Orient is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Orient is a board certified internist in Tucson, AZ. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons sounds legitimate, even respectable. However, it is a tiny group with annual revenues (last reported) of $700 thousand. The AAPS website conveys a simple message: Medicare and Medicaid are bad; baaaad. Indeed, they seem to favor cash only medical practices without insurance. Orient would not seem to have any experience treating gender dysphoria. Nor does she have applicable training.

A related tidbit: Michelle Cretella once “published” a “study” promoting conversion therapy to AAPS’ “journal.”

Steven White is associated with the Catholic Medical Association. White is a pulmonologist (respiratory specialist) in Daytona Beach, FL. However, he is not board certified in any medical specialty. The Catholic Medical Association is dedicated to “upholding the principles of the Catholic faith in science and medicine.” According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, transgender people do not really exist. Given his specialization in pulmonology, Dr. Steven White is unlikely to have any experience or training in the area of gender dysphoria.

Keith B. Vennum is president of Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity fka NARTH. Vennum is a practicing faith-based psychiatrist in Orlando, FL. However, his board certification is in anesthesiology. Go figure. He has an MA in counseling from … wait for it … Liberty University. His practice is limited to adult males. I think that it is safe to assume that Vennum has no experience or training treating children for gender dysphoria. My home state of Florida is in direct competition with Texas for the batshittiest state.

Paul R. McHugh. What would a letter like this be without McHugh signing onto it? McHugh, a devout Catholic is first and foremost a Defender of the Faith. He is nearing 90 and has not practiced medicine in a very long time. Whatever experience and training he might have relating to gender dysphoria is quite outdated and McHugh will always defer to the catechism over medical science.

McHugh has an honorary distinguished professor title at Johns Hopkins but he has not been on the faculty for nearly 20 years. He has said that medical treatment for transgender youth is “like performing liposuction on an anorexic child.”

In sum:

Seven signatories and not one has any applicable training or experience. These are the so-called “leaders of medical and mental health organizations” that the letter refers to.

I will tell you who does have the expertise in juvenile gender dysphoria. That would be the real professional organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP recommends the gender-affirming care model which is precisely what the signers of this letter oppose.

Again, the people who signed this did not do so because of their concern for best medical practices. They signed this letter because they have a religious objection to any form of gender affirmation. For them, faith-based beliefs take precedence over evidence-based science.

The letter, to my amazement, states that they are “dedicated to providing evidence based healthcare in keeping with the ancient medical ethics principle of first do no harm.”

Tell that to the parents of a child with gender dysphoria who is in extreme distress. Tell that to the parents of a dead child who had gender dysphoria. They listened to the religious misfits and crackpots. They subjected their kid to some form of reparative therapy intended to change the child’s gender identity. That child can no longer bear witness to the stupidity and callousness of people like those who signed this deplorable letter.

Note: This is a re-edited version of a post originally published on July 23.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.